North tech cluster worth £9.9bn


Tech clusters in the north of England generate almost £10bn a year for the UK but could be worth almost £16bn if recommendations to public-private partnerships, investment, procurement and other areas are made.

A new report into the Digital Powerhouse believes the areas of Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield/Roterham, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle and Sunderland/Durham could further develop their expertise in digital fields such as marketing, e-commerce, gaming, apps, data management and connected devices.

The authors argue that tech clusters in those cities could generate a further £5.9bn, and increase the region's tech workforce from about 283,000 now to 363,000 by 2020, if its proposals are implemented. 

The reports' recommendations include introducing tech 'taster vouchers', creating a portal to collate public and private digital contracts, championing tech co-operatives and making the north a test bed for experimental technologies such as the use of robotics in social care.

The report, produced by Tech North, in partnership with the RSA and the Impact Hub network, builds on the findings of the Tech Nation 2016 report compiled by Tech City UK and Nesta.